Bible Society of South Africa

New Beginnings: Keep chugging – 31 January 2022

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

Right with God

1Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2He has brought us by faith into this experience of God's grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory! 3We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4endurance brings God's approval, and his approval creates hope. 5This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to us.

Romans 5:1-5GNBOpen in Bible reader

We’ve come to the end of this series on New Beginnings and we conclude on a note of encouragement.

The call to us from our verse today is to keep on keeping on: to know who we are in Christ and to acknowledge the magnitude of the blessings that are ours through Him; to persevere through whatever we face because God is always with us, guarding our hearts and guiding our minds as we go forward trusting in His unfailing love. It’s rather like being aboard a train, along with fellow passengers, with the sturdy iron tracks below, the power within and the destination ahead – but nobody knows exactly how long the journey takes; like the experience I had during the holidays.

We were treated to a wonderful steam train excursion to the rural town of Elgin, over scenic mountains, with beautiful sea views, which then involved us exploring a market for a few hours before returning to Cape Town. We saw another side to the Western Cape as we chuffed our way through the various stations, some neat and tidy, others rundown, some depressing. We waved back to the many people waving to us en route, some waving from their back yards, very close to the track.

It was a slow journey that had many delays, not to pick up other passengers, but, presumably, to allow safe passage while leaving the CBD. One unscheduled delay was to wait for cable to be replaced further up the track, after theft. And although the steam train pulled us all the way there, a diesel engine helped to pull the steam train on the return journey.

No matter what our life-journey may be, we’ll always experience delays along the way; beauty punctuated with unsightliness; the just mixed with the unjust; the good with evil; which will arrest us and test us. But when we know that God is with us at every turn, we can enjoy the journey in peace, trusting Him to wisely negotiate us all the way – even to bring in a diesel to get us to our destination on time!

Trials, which we can view from His perspective, are the catalyst for our growth, freeing us to trust in the outcome, rejoice in the building of our character and make certain of our hope as the Holy Spirit empowers us with His love.

“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25, NIV)

Prayer: Father, God of new beginnings, help me to persevere. “I depend on God alone; I put my confidence in him.” (Psalm 62:5, GNT) Amen

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